Obviously I’m being sarcastic here. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is disgusting. If you’ve never seen it before – and I hadn’t before you got it – it looks like little red bumps or bubbles on your hands (palms included), feet (soles included), mouth, and bottom (they leave that particular gem off the name). Because you had/have sensitive skin and eczema all over the place, you were particularly susceptible to HFMD. Not to mention, you were 10 months old – the age group affected most by HFMD. So, when you got it, you got it BAD.
It started at your ankles because that was where your eczema was worst at the time and it made a lovely entrance point. It was a particularly nasty case, as your doctors and teachers pointed out. It’s always comforting when a doctor calls in a colleague just to impress them with how bad something is.
“Never fear!” I was told, “It will run its course.” Run its course? You looked like you had leprosy. I won’t kid you, I truly thought something was going to fall off. There was nothing I could be injecting, administering, or applying? I was told I could apply Neosporin if I liked. I did. Apparently this helps prevent impetigo, but doesn’t actually move along or improve the HFMD.
You were quarantined in our house for a week, away from all other children and as many adults as could be prevented from contact with you. We were constantly telling Kitten not to touch you. No one had a whole week to take off of work, so we split it between Daddy, me, and some gracious grandparents with strong stomachs.
You could have cared less. You looked like a radiation accident, but were as happy as could be. It was the one thing I was grateful for.
We were nervous about bringing you back to school once you were cleared for re-introduction in to society. What if the other children caught it? How would we ever forgive ourselves for unleashing this scourge on to your unsuspecting classmates? Which is when we found out that you were actually in the last wave of HFMD that had struck every single child in two classrooms. Well then. In you go, Buddy! Back in to your petri dish!
(Don’t look at the pictures if you’re squeamish!)